Post List

  • November 18, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Effectiveness of “Traffic-Light” Food Labeling and “Junk-Food” Taxes

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

Two of the most commonly proposed population-wide measures to prevent and reduce the health burden of obesity are a simple front-of-package food label (green-yellow-red) and the taxation of junk foods.
But would such measures truly be cost effective?
This question was now addressed by Sacks and colleagues from Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, who modeled the cost [...]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2010
  • 07:20 AM

November 18, 2010

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

When you see the lovely images on the cover of a journal, you can be sure that those images are the tip of the iceberg for a cell biologist's “portfolio” of images. Today’s image complements the cover and accompanying paper in this month’s Journal of Biological Chemistry and deserves its own spotlight (yes, I’m referring to HighMag as a “spotlight”). The myosin family of actin motors is large and diverse. One myosin, Myo3A, is found in the stereocilia of the inner ear and has ........ Read more »

Quintero, O., Moore, J., Unrath, W., Manor, U., Salles, F., Grati, M., Kachar, B., & Yengo, C. (2010) Intermolecular Autophosphorylation Regulates Myosin IIIa Activity and Localization in Parallel Actin Bundles. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285(46), 35770-35782. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.144360  

  • November 18, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Are Rhesus Monkeys Self-Aware?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Conventional wisdom from cognitive science posits that a variety of animals can recognize themselves in the mirror and, therefore, possess self-awareness. Traditionally, macaque monkeys have not been included among them, but a new study utilizing refined behavioral methods reveals that rhesus monkeys can indeed recognize themselves in the mirror. The results appear to reconcile a [...]... Read more »

Plotnik JM, de Waal FB, & Reiss D. (2006) Self-recognition in an Asian elephant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(45), 17053-7. PMID: 17075063  

Reiss D, & Marino L. (2001) Mirror self-recognition in the bottlenose dolphin: a case of cognitive convergence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98(10), 5937-42. PMID: 11331768  

  • November 18, 2010
  • 06:47 AM

Playing It SAFE

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Which nation is more sustainable: Albania or Angola? Before you place your bet, you might want to consult a new mathematical model that tries to improve efforts to grade countries on how they manage their resources for the long-term.
Although even experts don’t agree on exactly what “sustainability” means, there have been numerous efforts to […] Read More »... Read more »

Phillis, Y., Grigoroudis, E., & Kouikoglou, V. (2010) Sustainability ranking and improvement of countries. Ecological Economics. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.09.037  

  • November 18, 2010
  • 06:18 AM

CERN trap 38 atoms of antimatter

by Captain Skellett in A Schooner of Science

For the first time ever, antimatter has been trapped by a magnetic field allowing it to be studied in detail. The 38 atoms were antihydrogen, theoretically the same as hydrogen but having the opposite charge. Where hydrogen is made of one proton, one electron, antihydrogen is made with an antiproton and a positron. Antihydrogen was [...]... Read more »

Andresen, G., & et al. (2010) Trapped antihydrogen. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09610  

  • November 18, 2010
  • 05:39 AM

Fractals in clouds – why clouds appear ‘cloudlike’

by Croor Singh in Learning to be Terse

Clouds have distinctive shapes. Or they seem to have distinctive shapes. It turns out that is likely due to the fractal nature of clouds. The fractal nature of clouds was first shown in this paper in Science, from 1982.... Read more »

  • November 18, 2010
  • 05:35 AM

Fractals in clouds

by Croor Singh in Learning to be Terse

Clouds have distinctive shapes. Or they seem to have distinctive shapes. It turns out that is likely due to the fractal nature of clouds. The fractal nature of clouds was first shown in this paper in Science, from 1982.... Read more »

  • November 18, 2010
  • 04:49 AM

Effects of sleep on Remembering to Remember

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

Prospective memory is a class of memory that is unique in that it involves the future rather than the present or the past. Various examples of prospective memory include remembering to buy a pet monkey, or remembering to break up with your girlfriend or remembering to do that blasted thesis that you have been putting off for the umpteenth time. Hence, some researchers have called it the act of "remembering to remember" (Winograd, 1988). Although prospective memory is quite important for daily fu........ Read more »

Scullin MK, & McDaniel MA. (2010) Remembering to execute a goal: sleep on it!. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(7), 1028-35. PMID: 20519489  

  • November 18, 2010
  • 04:06 AM

Censoring cyberspace

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

From Index on censorship This special issue calls for a new approach to tackling censorship online. As cyberspace has become the arena for political activism, governments are growing more sophisticated in controlling free expression online – from surveillance to filtering. And it’s now becoming harder than ever for human rights activists to outwit the authorities. [...]... Read more »

MacKinnon, R. (2010) Google Rules. Index on Censorship, 39(1), 32-45. DOI: 10.1177/0306422010363343  

Deibert, R., & Rohozinski, R. (2010) Cyber Wars. Index on Censorship, 39(1), 79-90. DOI: 10.1177/0306422010362176  

  • November 18, 2010
  • 12:47 AM

A step towards correlates of consciousness

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

There are only a few ways to watch the brain in action and one is to follow its electromagnetic waves. Doesburg and his group have looked at the waves that accompany conscious awareness. They use binocular rivalry to mark when the content of consciousness changes (If different images are sent to the two eyes, we [...]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2010
  • 12:40 AM

Blueberry Extracts Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Adults

by Walter Jessen in Highlight HEALTH

Obesity is a risk factor for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. New research published in the Journal of Nutrition now suggests that blueberries can help improve insulin sensitivity in obese, non-diabetic and insulin-resistant people.... Read more »

  • November 17, 2010
  • 08:10 PM

Neuroplasticity neuroschplacity. The results are in and introducing Neuroelasticity.

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Some time ago, we were inspired by some debate in the literature on whether the term neuroplasticity was overdone. Cooked up. Passe.  It is timely to revisit this now, for two reasons. First, I did a talk at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians last night – the inaugural seminar in the College of Rehabilitation [...]... Read more »

Braun C, Schweizer R, Elbert T, Birbaumer N, & Taub E. (2000) Differential activation in somatosensory cortex for different discrimination tasks. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 20(1), 446-50. PMID: 10627620  

  • November 17, 2010
  • 07:33 PM

How to tell your parents about those GPCRs

by Peter Nollert in Emerald BioStructures Blog

GPCRs could be a conversation starter over a Thanksgiving Dinner conversation.... Read more »

Bucci M, Goodman C, & Sheppard TL. (2010) A decade of chemical biology. Nature chemical biology, 6(12), 847-854. PMID: 21079586  

  • November 17, 2010
  • 05:29 PM

Autism Following Viral Infection

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

I just discovered a remarkable case report from 1986 about a Swedish girl who developed all of the major symptoms of autism at the age of 14, following a severe brain infection.Autism generally becomes noticeable in early childhood. There are plenty of cases in which autistic people don't get diagnosed until much later in life, but the symptoms invariably turn out to go back a long way. Older children, teenagers and adults don't just go autistic overnight. Except in this case, if you believe it......... Read more »

  • November 17, 2010
  • 05:00 PM

Cyanobacterial neurotoxin evolved billions of years ago

by Lucas in thoughtomics

On the evening of June 5 in 1990, six fishermen prepared a meal of baked fish, boiled rice, boiled potatoes and boiled blue mussels that they had harvested themselves off the coast of Nantucket. An hour after finishing the meal, their mouths started to tingle. Their face, arms, legs and tongue soon went numb. These [...]... Read more »

  • November 17, 2010
  • 04:39 PM

Rates of Scientific Fraud Retractions

by Bob O'Hara in Deep Thoughts and Silliness

Ivan Oransky on his Retraction Watch blog pointed to a paper by R. Grant Steen looking at numbers of retraction and whether they were due to fraud or error. Ivan pointed to a news item on The Great Beyond by...... Read more »

  • November 17, 2010
  • 03:48 PM

Trapped Antihydrogen

by Chad Orzel in Uncertain Principles

The big physics-y news story of the moment is the trapping of antihydrogen by the ALPHA collaboration at CERN. The article itself is paywalled, because this is Nature, but one of the press offices at one of the institutions involved was kind enough to send me an advance version of the article. This seems like something that deserves the ResearchBlogging Q&A treatment, so here we go:

OK, what's the deal with this paper? Well, the ALPHA collaboration is announcing that they have created antih........ Read more »

Andresen, G., Ashkezari, M., Baquero-Ruiz, M., Bertsche, W., Bowe, P., Butler, E., Cesar, C., Chapman, S., Charlton, M., Deller, A.... (2010) Trapped antihydrogen. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09610  

  • November 17, 2010
  • 02:20 PM

An excellent example of either crappy science reporting or crappy science ...

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

Let's have a look and see if we can decide. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • November 17, 2010
  • 02:11 PM

“Snowball Earth” triggered animal evolution?

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera

Now I am not going to try to pretend this entire Nature article. But I read about this as a small article on ScienceNow and decided it might be worth mentioning.  Noah Planavsky and his colleagues recently reported in Nature about the evolution of the marine phosphate reservoir, and surmised that phosphate enrichment after the earth . . . → Read More: “Snowball Earth” triggered animal evolution?... Read more »

Planavsky NJ, Rouxel OJ, Bekker A, Lalonde SV, Konhauser KO, Reinhard CT, & Lyons TW. (2010) The evolution of the marine phosphate reservoir. Nature, 467(7319), 1088-90. PMID: 20981096  

  • November 17, 2010
  • 01:17 PM

Icelanders descended from Native Americans?

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

That is the question, and tentatively answered in the affirmative according to a new paper in The American Journal of Physical Anthropology. A new subclade of mtDNA haplogroup C1 found in icelanders: Evidence of pre-columbian contact?:
Although most mtDNA lineages observed in contemporary Icelanders can be traced to neighboring populations in the British Isles and Scandinavia, [...]... Read more »

Ebenesersdóttir SS, Sigurðsson A, Sánchez-Quinto F, Lalueza-Fox C, Stefánsson K, & Helgason A. (2010) A new subclade of mtDNA haplogroup C1 found in icelanders: Evidence of pre-columbian contact?. American journal of physical anthropology. PMID: 21069749  

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